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  1. #1

    Post 1997 XI SS Issues

    Hey Guys -

    I have a 1996 XI SS that is acting quite strange. I purchased the ski from a guy where it just sat on the dock. We started it in his driveway (no water test - I know shame on me!) ... however I have never been able to get it to run long enough where I can get it off the trailer.

    My fear was compression. . . However after a test I have 160 pounds on both cylinders and I am oiling both via the stock pump - new lines (working fine).

    It got to a point where it was very hard to start and then when it did start after about 30 seconds of running it would idle down and die. Generally would not start again.

    Ordered carb kits and went through them. No major issues - little corrosion however nothing that stood out as a problem or an "ah-ha" moment that made me feel that was the issue.

    Carbs are back on and no difference.

    I have removed the gas cap and tried to start with no avail -

    I have a pulse coming from the engine to the carbs. The pump appears to be working. . . However I am starting to wonder if my fuel lines are hooked up backwards. They were a mess when I looked in there.

    Here are a couple questions:

    1.) There is a fuel line fitting in the center of both carbs ... Is this the feed or return?
    1a.) Does anyone have a diagram for the fuel lines how Kawasaki designed them?
    1b.) Now the ski is hooked up where fuel comes into the fitting right below the fuel pump on the rear carb.


    2.) There is a black knob by the exhaust - What is this? After turning the engine over if I pull up on it (1/8 inch) - I get a little "puff" - sounds like a compression release? Is this like the Yamaha power valves? Could it be its stuck and not allowing the engine to draw fuel in?


    3.) When I rebuilt the carbs - In the fuel pump there were two inverted torque bolts with a hole in the center - I didn't get in there ... however what is under there? Is this a strange size - Nothing I had would grab it. Its possible someone has been in there before.

    Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!


  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    Perhaps this picture will help, but it's a little hard to see exactly where the hoses go when viewed from directly above. The hose in the middle is the return line that comes off of the front carb.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chokes Open.JPG 
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    The knob by the exhaust is a crankcase drain valve. If the 'Ski gets flooded with water, you can pull the knob to drain the engine. Nice idea, except they start to leak when they get old, causing the engine to run lean and burn it up. Best thing to do is remove it and install a block-off plate (about $20 on Ebay).

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Perhaps this picture will help, but it's a little hard to see exactly where the hoses go when viewed from directly above. The hose in the middle is the return line that comes off of the front carb.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chokes Open.JPG 
Views:	124 
Size:	190.7 KB 
ID:	330534

    The knob by the exhaust is a crankcase drain valve. If the 'Ski gets flooded with water, you can pull the knob to drain the engine. Nice idea, except they start to leak when they get old, causing the engine to run lean and burn it up. Best thing to do is remove it and install a block-off plate (about $20 on Ebay).

    Steve - thank you for the picture and explanation of the "knob"

    I am at such a loss with this engine. I have had the carbs off 3-4 times checking for issues. Now I'm doubting how well I rebuilt them. All of the jets have been and are clean. The little holes going into the throat of the carb are open.


    The ski just will not start. If I hit it with carb cleaner it starts and then dies. I am getting fuel out of the return.

    The plugs are wet ...


    It just seems like the fuel is not making it into the engine.


    drained the tank. Fresh fuel. The only thing I can think of is that the crank case is just full of old nasty fuel.

    Checked compression again tonight. 150 on the front and 155 rear.

    Suggestions .... Anyone?

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    Did you work on the fuel pump?

    Make sure you have the diaphragms and gaskets put together in the correct sequence.

    Try bypassing the fuel tank and selector valve by running the inlet hose to a gas can (about the same level as the fuel tank).

  5. #5
    Steve -

    Again - Thank you.

    I did go into the pump - however I am pretty sure (99.5) that I put it back together the same way I took it apart.

    The only thing I didn't do was get under the tamper proof screws. Is there anything in there that could be preventing the fuel from getting into the engine.

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    Rather than put the carbs and fuel pump back together the way they came apart, put them together the way the book says to.

  7. #7

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    Typically the return lines are higher up on the carbs than your supply lines.
    I'm working on one of the same exact skis right now. However, my problems are electrical. No tach or trim gauge!

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